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    Published On : Mon, Dec 21st, 2020

    HC issues notices to state and accused in responce to appeal on behalf of the victim

    Gavel, Court

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    The High Court responding to an appeal filed by the victim of the crime has issued notices to the state of Maharashtra as well as the original accused Dr Chetan Khutemate of Chandrapur.

    Upon the complaint of the victim wife, offences under sections 498A, 323, 406, 504 and 506 of the Indian penal code as well as under section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 were registered against the accused.

    The accused was put to trial before the learnedJudicial Magistrate First Class, Chandrapur and while the matter was subjudice before the court of the Learned magistrate, the High Court in an ancillary proceeding deemed it fit to expedite the trial and directed the trial court to complete the trial within a stipulated time. Accordingly, the trial proceeded and as many as seven witnesses were examined on behalf of the prosecution including the victim wife herself. Her real brother was also examined by the prosecution as a star witness who was in direct knowledge of the facts of the case. However, after the said brother of the victim recorded his examination in chief before the learned trial court, he could not remain present on the next date.

    Interestingly on the said next date of the trial, even the accused was also absent and thereafter the learned magistrate closed the evidence of the brother of the victim acting in an undue haste. While, on one hand the learned magistrate closed the evidence of this witness on 8.2.2019, on the same day the magistrate also issued summons to him to depose further and to complete his evidence. Ultimately the trial court did not grant him an opportunity to complete his evidence and proceeded to discard the said evidence completely while rendering the judgement of acquittal in favour of the accused.

    This haste shown by the learned trial court becomes further evident from the fact that the trial court also refused the request of the prosecution for calling the child witness in support of the prosecution apart from another witness. While turning down this plea of the prosecution, the trial court instead of rendering a finding on the merits of the application only rejected the said request on the ground that the matter was expedited by the High Court. Therefore the entire manner in which the trial was conducted caused great miscarriage of justice and hence the High Court while appreciating the submissions made on behalf of the appellant/victim wife admitted the appeal under section 372 of CRPC and issued notices to the state of Maharashtra as well as the accused Dr Chetan Khutemate.

    Normally the courts have the option of seeking an extension of time from the Higher courts in case the time frame stipulated becomes insufficient for completing the case, but in this case, it appears from the order passed by the High Court that this is classic case where undue alacrity by the trial court went to the extent of completing trial at the cost of justice and embarking on the of notion of ”Justice Hurried Is Justice Buried”.

    While issuing notices, as above, Justice Vinay Joshi at the High Court observed that the matter requires a re-look and admitted the plea of the victim wife.

    The matter was conducted by criminal lawyer Advocate Aakash Gupta for the appellant wife and the state was represented by Mrs Jaipurkar the additional public prosecutor.

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